Category Archives: Menu plans

What did we eat? february 14, 2019

I served lots of salads and veggies this past week. One time, I put it out on a platter and added lots of goodies to make it look different. Somehow, it worked. We felt like we had a whole new kind of salad!

I made carrots sautéed in apple juice. Carrots are one of the most reasonable fresh veggies at this time of year, so we’ve been having them more often.

Rob made himself some cooked cabbage and chicken sausage with a side of sautéed mushrooms. The cabbage is also a good price, as it is in season at this time of year and he found 2 large packages of mushrooms on the mark-down rack, so he got to enjoy a bunch of those. We’ve had omelets from the mushrooms, as well. Another day, I made coleslaw from more cabbage.

I found a bag of frozen pesto cubes in the freezer. During the summer, I make it and freeze it in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes out and freeze in a bag. My recipe is very simple–it includes basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. There are no pine nuts in it. I made brown rice pasta with the pesto last night. It was really good. I ate way too much.

I crumb-coated some rockfish that was in the freezer and served it with the pasta, and home-canned green beans. We ate several jars of green beans this week, several jars of fruit, and quite a few odds and ends from the freezers. I’m noticing that the chest freezer is starting to feel less tightly packed, which is good news since it’s hard to see what’s in there other than the top layer. It’s easier to dig around if it’s not too crammed. The 2 uprights are showing some spaces as well. The little freezer on top of the fridge in the kitchen is still crammed because I keep bringing veggies and things in from the shop for immediate use. Now that I’m getting more space, I plan to make up a few more things like muffins to have on hand for quick meals.

One night, Rob made hamburger patties, baked “French fries” and carrots with a little honey on them. Then, he took a picture of it (that’s his foot and knee there) and sent me a picture with the caption “I’ve got dinner for you.” I was super happy he did that, as I was heading home and was starving:).

Patsy made gluten-free crepes. They were really good. Way too good. We’d better not make those too often:).

We ate leftovers quite a few times as well.

I am happy to report that I have finally (hopefully) got things organized again so that I can stop going to the store every few days. I will do another produce run in a few days, and I’ll grab eggs if I see them on sale, but the staples are back in the pantry, at least for now. We are ready for a weekend with Jake and Michaela, and have the foods they will eat all stocked up. I have other things I’d rather do than go to the store, so I’m excited about that. Still, the reality is that if we cook from scratch a great deal, which we do, I am going to run out of foods we use, and it’s worth the time to me to go from store to store and get the best possible prices to stock back up, so I will always make time for that. I haven’t checked the ads yet this week, but last week I got butter for $1.99/box…..it’s aways worth looking:)

What did we eat? February 9, 2019

I decided to attack the winter squash that was left from last year’s garden. I got such a good crop of my acorn squash, was given 4 Butternuts, and my compost pile grew a couple more all by itself! We’ve been eating it all along, but when I went and looked at my still-large bucket full, some of them were starting to get bad spots on them. I cut each and every one of them open, threw away anything that was bad, and cut the rest into chunks, which I roasted in a 425 degree oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. I got 2 pans.

We ate a bunch.

I made ginger apple-butternut squash soup. I found a few apples in a box on the covered porch from last fall. They were a little wrinkly, but still good, so I wanted to target them as well. The soup was very different than what we usually make, but Rob and I both liked it.

I made quinoa bowls with quinoa, carrots and spinach on the bottom. Pieces of Rob’s BBQ’d chicken thigh meat with a chipotle-lime sauce and roasted squash came next and it was topped with a apple dressing. I started with a recipe from Gluten-Free and More Magazine, and changed it up quite a bit. We liked it!

We got 10 lbs of frozen chicken hindquarters for $5 last Friday. Rob barbecued the whole bag and we’ve been eating it all week. We’ve been pulling things from the freezers and eating them–lots of veggies, odds and end of things, etc. Patsy ate some frozen burritos one night from the ones I made and froze a few weeks ago. I’m going to have to make some more before long.

I made a mixture of hamburger and black beans with Mexican seasoning and we had tacos/taco salads one night. One night I sautéed some frozen shrimp that was in the freezer for myself after work.

We’ve also had some leftover pork chops from the ones my sister made last Sunday for Family Sunday Dinner at her house. I took leftover salad bar items from what was left when we had our friends over last Saturday.

I’ve had to adjust my February plans for food a bit from what I thought it was going to look like last week. I was out of a lot more things than I thought I was. So, I will not be saving grocery money this month. I will be spending every cent of my grocery budget, and perhaps a bit more. I’ve already gathered several kinds of gluten-free flour from the store, and my mom gave me some almond flour she was not using. (Thanks, again, Mom!). We’ve used a LOT of produce and I will be getting more weekly. I already got baking powder, baking soda, and 5 pounds of butter. I still need to get bulk spices, salt and pepper–you see how it is:). I went ahead and grabbed “Michaela and Jake” foods as the kids are spending next weekend with us and froze the things like bagels and ww bread.

I feel like my January use-it-up project was very successful and the goal of rotating my stocked food was met. I don’t mind buying more to keep the pantry full, and it’s nice to know that things are staying fresh out there. I plan to keep digging into the cupboards, freezers, and pantry and will continue to use up older things that are there. I will still attempt to do the weekly post about our menus and showcase the items I am using up.

Best of all, Rob continued to lose weight over the month and my blood sugars are a bit better than they were 3 months ago, even with the challenge and the holidays.

What Did We Eat? October 26, 2018

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I tried a recipe for French Onion Chicken.  It was from Cooking Light magazine, but I did tweak it a bit.  First, you cooked a lot of onions.  I used a little bit of butter, a small amount of beef broth, and about 4 huge onions and used a non-stick pan.  I used even less butter than the magazine called for and no cooking wine.  They got nice and cooked in about 15 minutes.  I put 1/2 of them on a baking tray, and the other 1/2 I used to make some French Onion Soup. I used chicken thighs I got on 30% off instead of the whole chickens that were called for.  I put down a layer of cooked onions and some carrot sticks (my addition) and laid the thighs on top and sprinkled them with fresh thyme.  I did not make herb butter and put under the skin, although I’m sure it would be delicious.  We don’t need those extra calories around here right now.  I decided to set my oven at 425 degrees.  That was hot enough for me, even though the recipe called for 450.  Then I baked them until they were done, about 40 minutes.  (They were not super cold as I had returned from the store and made them a little while after that without putting them in the fridge for hours as would normally happen.).  They were really, really good.

I made French Onion Soup with the other 1/2 of the onions.  It was good with little pieces of bread (some regular and some gf) with cheese slices melted on top.

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I made another batch of zucchini muffins, with a cinnamon-sugar topping. Everyone liked those!

We have had lots of vegetables–tons of salads, canned green beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes, etc.  My aunt gave us some low-calorie salad dressing that Rob has been loving.

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I used some of the last zucchini I will be getting.  There is a tiny bit left, but the bushes look like they are dead or dying, and the fall rains have finally started, so they won’t get better:). I’m trying to use up the garden odds and ends while I still have them.  There are still cherry tomatoes and a couple of cucumbers out there, at least there were a couple of days ago.  I’ll bet they are cracked after all this rain we’ve had yesterday and today.  Their days are numbered, too:)

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I made baked pear slices with cinnamon sugar and raisins.  They were great!

I went out to breakfast with a couple of friends, and had an omelet.  It was good.  I ate half for breakfast, and the other half several hours later for a late lunch.

We ate many other things, of course, but those were the most exciting ones!

A Little More Canning and What Did We Eat? September 20, 2018

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This week, I was able to get enough tomatoes for both pasta/pizza sauce and taco/enchilada sauce.  I’m super happy with the flavor of both.  I was surprised with more cucumbers when I looked under the bushes that really look as if they are dying.  So, I made more spicy pickles because I also found a couple more jalapeños and Serranos on those bushes.

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One night I roasted a pan of sweet potatoes, white potatoes and acorn squash.  They all turned out great.  The Carnival acorn squash plant has been prolific and I just keep taking the biggest ones that look the most mature, and using them.  This is the 3rd one we’ve eaten so far.  There are quite a few left out there.  Some probably won’t mature, but several will.

We have had chicken with plum sauce twice.  Since I made a new batch, and there are enough prunes to do it again if I get around to it, I am glad that we are finding a way to use it in such a tasty fashion.

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We are still eating zucchini, although I’m happy to report it has slowed down to a manageable level.  It is nice to saute some zucchini with onion until just crisp-tender.  This is an old picture, so it doesn’t show the yellow crookneck squash, or the scallopini squash or the round ball squash that came up from the few seeds I planted from a summer squash mixture in early August.  The old plants are about done, and will probably die before long, so it will be nice to still have a fresh veggie when that happens for a few more weeks.

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I had Eritrean food with Harnet one day.  Danait was proud as can be of her bike-riding skills.  The bike and helmet were birthday gifts back in June, and she has improved a lot.  Since the only place she can ride is the parking lot of their apartment complex, there is a little routine they do, so I had to do it, too.  It consists of her riding off quickly, with the grown-up chasing her, all the while looking for stray cars and cats (there might be one, you never know!).  She was telling me they do it 3 times some days.  I was done at one trip around their course:)  It was a good workout.  Lunch was great. I took a salad to add to the food Harnet cooked.  Of course, she sent some home.  This time it was the red lentils she likes to make and some rice with mixed vegetables in it.  The girls here at home have been eating it as taco filling.

I got some pork cutlets on mark-down last week, so we used them this week.  Rob grilled them after marinading them for a while in one of his concoctions.  They were delicious.  We ate lots of salad, piles of tomatoes, some canned and fresh fruit, a few potatoes, and some other side dishes.  It’s going to be harder to plan dinner when the garden dies, but it’s still limping along for now.  I’m glad. It’s an awesome time of year when I have so much fresh produce.

 

 

 

What Did We Eat? August 31, 2018

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We had a wonderful get-away camping at the beach.  Other than one sandwich Patsy and I grabbed at Subway, we cooked all our meals in the camper.  We tried to keep things easy, except for a few special meals.

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One morning, Patsy and I went down to the bay and we were able to get these Cockle clams.  I turned them into the clam chowder pictured above.  We have enough frozen for one more batch in the near future.  It was our first time hunting for these kind of clams, and I got some extremely helpful advice from a man down on the beach, who showed us how to get them.  You are supposed to rake them, but we did not have a rake, so we scraped our shovel along the sand, and Patsy was even raking through the wet sand with her fingers, and we found over 20 between the two of us.  They seem to be found more frequently in places where the seaweed has been deposited by the tide.

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We went crabbing off the docks in Newport twice.  Thankfully, we found great parking spots that were very near the dock, and didn’t have to carry our gear very far.  The first day, we got these two and the second time we got one Dungeness and kept a couple of Red Rock Crabs just to give us a little more meat.  I had crab salad and just plain crab, and froze 2 small packages for the near future.  Rob fished off the docks while we waited for him to pull up the traps, but caught nothing.

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We did foil dinners in the fire one night.  The meat, carrots and potatoes turned out great.  The zucchini turned into mush.  I threw it away.  There were no takers for that one.  I had picked every single tiny one before we left, hoping that they would not take over while we were gone.

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The acorn squash turned out great!

The rest of the meals were salads, lunchmeat and cheese, corn from our garden, lots and lots of tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, and hamburgers one night for dinner.  Breakfasts were eggs, sausage one day, cereal, and fruit.  Most days, we threw some food into our little cooler and just ate out of that wherever we were when lunchtime came–dock, jetty, etc.

We had a great time, and ended up the week by purchasing tuna off the docks to can,    It was an unusual menu compared to what we more commonly have at this time of year, but I love seafood and will remember for other times when we can’t catch anything.  .

 

 

What Did We Eat? August 10, 2018

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Last Friday, I did not find time to do my normal weekly shopping.  I was too busy with canning and taking care of kids.  I didn’t seem to be out of very many things, so just kept cooking with what I had, and had Patsy make a list on the whiteboard of things when I ran out of something.  I rolled the weekly grocery money over for another time, as I know not buying groceries is not sustainable, and I will need to re-stock sooner or later.

I ran out of some things I wasn’t expecting, such as baking powder and baking soda.  Thankfully, there was some in the camper, and I just continued cooking up a storm.

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I soaked and cooked a large amount of pinto beans.  Most of them, I froze for later.  I made a small batch of chili from the rest.

Patsy was in a cooking mood.  She made gluten-free calzones one day, and tamale pie casserole the next.  Both recipes were very good, and used items we had on hand.  She got the recipes from Pinterest, and enjoyed looking at all the choices before she chose those recipes.  She picked wild blackberries from my sister’s house and made a crisp with them.  She also froze a few more for later.

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I needed to cook a bunch of food for the college-age group at church.  They have a retreat this weekend.  The leader asked the ones of us who regularly cook for their Tuesday night dinner/Bible Study/worship time if we could each sign up for a meal, cook the food ahead, and then send it along so that all that had to be done on the retreat was warm food up or put the finishing touches on it.  It needed to be enough for 30 people.  I made 5   cake-sized breakfast casseroles with hash browns on the bottom, eggs plus 1/2 and 1/2 filling, with ham and cheese on top. To go with it, I made 3 loaves of zucchini bread and sent 5 cantaloupes for them to cut that morning.  Then, I made gluten-free zucchini muffins, gf brownies and 3 tiny gf spaghetti pies and sent small quantities for those who needed that option.  While I was at it, I made our family a spaghetti pie, some brownies, and some zucchini muffins.  It was a cooking marathon for sure! (I will be reimbursed for the food I bought for that project, except what I had on hand and donated.  I would have paid them to take the zucchini-ha, ha!  Seriously, I was glad to find a use for more of this bumper crop!)

My excellent helper, Jake, helped me shop for the college-age food.  He carefully checked the 2 dozen eggs I bought for the casseroles/baking.  He found a broken one, and then proceeded to march over and inform a near-by worker about this discovery, stressing how bad it was that they had a broken egg in their cooler, and so on.  The worker was very patient, and agreed that it was bad, and assured him it would be taken care of.  He had fun shopping with me, and later in the day, we discovered that he likes gf yellow zucchini muffins.  That was a pleasant surprise!  He ate them for 2 days straight.  I hope he likes them next week, too.  I’ll make more.  I’m not short on zucchini!!!   (I think I’ve picked at least 60 by now…)

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Garden produce played a large part in my menu plans this week.  These cherry tomatoes were picked at my sister’s house.  She has a LOT!  I am getting a few from my bushes, and plenty of regular tomatoes.  I picked and served corn a couple of times.  The earliest variety of corn I planted is almost finished. Boy, was it good, but I only had space for a small square area of each planting.  The green beans are still putting out a handful every few days, but are almost finished.  I ended up freezing a few quarts, and we ate beans a couple of times.  I picked the last of the lettuce that was ready and am waiting for the next succession planting to get big enough to eat.  I have 2 more small plantings growing, and a third that just came up to take me into the fall. IMG_7605

There were enough cucumbers to make a few quarts of dill pickles, to add to the 2 batches of sweet pickles I’ve made so far.  Today, there should be more that need to be picked and processed.  I keep picking the dill heads off as I make pickles, and so far, there have been enough.  The plants keep making more smaller flowers, and so sometimes I have to put 2 small heads in a jar, rather than one big one, and I also add in some leaves if I think the flowers weren’t enough.  It’s working so far, but I may need to plant more dill next year.  Most of these are volunteers anyway, but the plants are getting hit pretty hard.  I’ve made an awful lot of those zucchini dill chips…..:)

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The peach tree in our back yard has been providing us with plenty of peaches.  I made more jam and keep freezing more every few days.  We are eating sliced peaches frequently.

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We spent yesterday up at my sister’s farm.  The menu was taco bar, watermelon, and birthday cupcakes for our friend, Harnet’s, birthday.  Everyone brought something, and we had a lovely time eating, visiting, and taking turns helping at the u-pick peach stand, as they were open for business!

Yesterday morning I ran out to the store very early, as I was down to about 1 cup of milk.  I ended up spending $30 on whole wheat bread, milk, celery, baking powder, baking soda, grapes, garlic, and a few other things.  I was very pleased that I only needed that many groceries after 2 weeks!  That garden is really paying off:). We will do the same this week as we did last week–just make a list as we run out of things while focusing on eating garden produce. I would not be surprised if I went back to the store in a few days to re-stock a few items, but I’m not sure which day.  I’m just setting the extra money aside and will go to Costco one of these days for a few things I usually get there.  I like to get 5-dozen packages of eggs there, and am getting low.  My sugar supply has also taken quite a hit with all the jam I’ve made, and I’m going to get 25 lbs. either there or at Cash and Carry.

It’s a busy time of year, as I get all of this produce stored away for winter, but I wouldn’t trade it, as I enjoy it so much!  I will, however, not turn down a nap if I can ever carve out the time for one:). We’ll see what today brings.

What Did We Eat? July 19, 2018

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That’s just my harvest from today!  Over the past week, I think I’ve picked around 35 zucchini. I have shared many, many zucchinis, served them frequently, and still have a bunch.  Tomorrow, I have a day off and hope to preserve some of them.

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We have had mixed grill basket, stir fry, zucchini bread, gf zucchini muffins, and zucchini cake with browned butter frosting (thanks to Lovana).

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I found 2 turkey drumsticks in the freezer.  They were from our old house! It was time to use them up and then some. I found a recipe in the Fix and Forget It (For Entertaining) cookbook and made it.  It was a BBQ sauce with 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/3 cup molasses, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 3 T Worchestershire sauce, 2 T dried minced onion, salt and pepper.  I sprinkled the drumsticks with salt and pepper, mixed the other ingredients, put the sauce over the drumsticks, set the Crock Pot to “low” and left.  5-6 hours later, it  was edible, and I ate some for lunch, but let it go another 2 hours and it got more tender.  I picked the rest of the meat off the bones and put it and some of the sauce in a bowl and put it in the fridge for tomorrow.

On that same trip to the shop where I was digging into the freezers, I found some pork from our old house, as well.  I marinated it in olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper and a sprig of rosemary.  Rob grilled it tonight, and we ate part of it.  He also did chicken drumsticks, and we ate part of them, too.  Now, I have main dishes for the next 2 days, and maybe more.  There are a few more things in the freezer that need to be targeted another time.

We also got out some beef brisket that we have not known what to do with.  When we bought 1/4 beef, it came with it.  We’ve bought beef for years, and did not get this cut, but the last 2 times, we have.  So, Rob’s been looking on-line and in cookbooks, and is ready to tackle it.

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I have been picking lots of veggies from the garden.  The potatoes are the ones that grew all by themselves in the compost heap.  I cut them into chunks and roasted them.  I cooked some garden carrots in a little butter and apple juice for lunch.  I’ve been freezing all the little bits of strawberries I collect.  I just drop them into the freezer bag.  When it gets a bunch in it, I’ll start a new one.  I will have lots of strawberries frozen by the end of the summer, if all goes well.  I got about 2 Tablespoons of shelling peas today.  I’m shocked and amazed that snow peas are still growing, despite the heat wave we’ve had.

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I’ve been skimming the beans, and have enough for tomorrow’s meal. I did lose some blossoms in the heat, but am going to have lots.  I cut what I thought was tons of lettuce a few days ago, but I realized today that we have eaten almost all of it, due to the many salad suppers we had when it was so hot.  I have a few more heads to cut, then will have to wait for some little lettuces to grow.  I’m hoping to plant even more seeds in the next couple of days.  I’m very happy because I was able to eat or share much of this batch before it bolted.  There are a few bolted plants I did leave out there from the first batch–hopefully, they will self-seed and I will have volunteers, or I will collect some seeds.IMG_7539

The tomatoes are just starting. What a treat!

We cooked for the college-aged kids on Tuesday, at church.  It is a fun group to cook for.  It seems that no matter what we make, it’s “their favorite” and they slick it up.  We served salad bar, with toppings for both taco salad and chef’s salad, pork and beans (cold, right out of the can), deviled eggs, zucchini bread and gf zucchini muffins, and watermelon.  It went well, and they loved it. It was very hot, and it hit the spot.  Of course, we ate with them that night.

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This account would not be complete without eggs.  Just plain, simple eggs, scrambled with salt and pepper.  I was able to get eggs for 99c/dozen and bought 5, just for us.  That does not count the 3 dozen I turned into deviled eggs for the college kids.  Jake decided he is in a mood for eggs.  He has had scrambled eggs more than once this week, and today ended up eating 4 eggs, total–first I scrambled 2, than 2 more on request.  When I got him into the car after our early morning swimming excursion, he gravely explained that he had not had a single thing to eat today, and was HUNGRY!  The last time he told me that, he meant he had eaten nothing but DONUTS, so I didn’t take him too seriously until those 4 eggs went down the hatch.  Rob did pick him up very early, and then took him to the pool….

Jake has still been eating lots of ramen noodles this week, his favorite, but it was really nice to see him eat so many healthy eggs.  Other family members have been hungry for eggs, too.  Maybe I should have bought 10 dozen……

The one thing you don’t see us eating lately is food from a restaurant.  We just aren’t going out, even for French fries.  It’s been a few weeks now.  It’s been a little hard on Jake and Michaela without the McD’s, but they are getting used to me skipping it.  We (their mother and I) agreed before Rob’s job ended that it would be better for them to eat less of that food, and boy was I glad we had already decided that when his job ended.  It’s been good for both the budget and the waistline.  Rob and I will go out to eat for a date soon, and enjoy every minute of it, and we will take the kids for a treat sometime, but I really want it to be a treat, not an expectation and not too frequent.

What Did We Eat? June 29, 2018

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Before we left for camping, I grabbed whatever I could from the garden and fridge.  There were some sad and sorry carrots, the end of a bunch of celery, some nice fresh snow peas, and an onion.  I made stir fry and cooked some white rice I unearthed in the camper cupboard.  I did go to the store and buy another fresh bunch of celery and a few carrots.  Jake ate 1 piece of chicken under duress, and 1 snow pea, and noodles.

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Since we are camping this week,  we got to enjoy trout, fresh from the lake.  The first one I fried in a pan for breakfast.  These 4 got better treatment.  We put fresh dill from the garden in side, along with Lowrie’s seasoning salt, and Rob grilled them.  Yum!  Jake ate 1 bite of trout under duress, and noodles.

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We had some hot dogs, so grabbed those, of course.  We had to buy marshmallows to roast.  There were none in the camper cupboards.  That’s probably a good thing.  Last summer’s marshmallows don’t sound very tasty to me;). We just went without chocolate bars this time.  Jake ate noodles and bread.

We also had lots of cereal from the camper cupboard, plus various bread products I grabbed from home.  Jake was on a Top Ramen and Cup-o-Noodle kick, and wanted bread, bread, bread with butter, butter, butter.  We’ve used almost an entire tub of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” I got on sale before the trip.  I was happy to buy another loaf of 100% Whole Wheat Bread for him.  It’s better than those noodles for him.

As I cleaned out the camper cupboards, things like a few pieces of hard candy, some cookies, a hidden package of Bugles, and other treats were revealed and wolfed down.  I made some cookies from chocolate chips that had seen better days.   Anything that was really, really over the hill went to the sea gulls, so provided entertainment of another sort.  Jake ate Bugles and cookies.  I put oatmeal in the cookies, so felt pretty good about that one.

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Rob grilled a couple of steaks from the freezer and 4 ears of corn Jake talked me into buying at the store.  He ate noodles and bread with butter.

I made one simple soup from the end of the sad carrots, celery and bullion.  I put rice in it, too.

In the end, we ate like kings and queens.  I spent a little grocery money, and we did go out to eat one time with the coins we saved in a tin can for that purpose. (Thankfully, Rob changed it into bills before we left–it would have been awkward to take that many coins to a restaurant:) ). We went to a pizza place for an all-you-can-eat salad and pizza buffet.  I asked if they had gluten-free, figuring I might just be eating salad.   They surprised me by making me a pizza, after asking me what kind I wanted, and then they sent me home with the rest of it–for no extra charge.  We felt bad and offered to pay whatever was fair for the rest (I know how expensive gluten-free ingredients are), but they would not take any money.  That was an unexpected blessing, so I had pizza for breakfast today:). Jake ate pepperoni off Rob’s pizza, and watermelon.

I had one day where Jake and I walked a total of 3 miles, broken into pieces.  Another time, we did almost 2 miles.  We’ve done other walks, too. I’ve done more cooking in the camper than I usually do because I didn’t get to prepare ahead of time.  I’ve used up lots of odds and ends. It’s been fun to get in there and get creative, and fun that we’ve walked so much that I have felt like I could eat a little more and enjoy it!

 

What Did We Eat? June 15, 2018

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We ate the leftovers from last weekend’s party.  For the beginning of the week, we feasted on deviled eggs, veggies, sweet and sour turkey meatballs, pickle rolls, chips, tortilla rolls, dipped strawberries, rice, and sandwiches.  There is still a little cheese left, but most of the rest has been devoured.

My oldest daughter had some baked potatoes left over from a party she had given.  She asked if I wanted them, and of course, I said I did.  I was surprised when she came in with a plastic grocery-store bag full of the largest potatoes imaginable!  They were all baked, and there were just too many for them to use up. It was quite a challenge for us, as well!!

I had baked potato bar one night with broccoli from the freezer, cheese sauce, and cottage cheese.  I tried the Tillamook cheese sauce mix in a package that I purchased last week.  It was $1.99 and I had a digital coupon for $1.50 off.  It was delicious.  There were 2-3 occasions when people ate a portion of a baked potato at a meal.  I fried one for breakfast one morning, and put in a few slices of kielbasa sausage.  With the last 2 potatoes, I made potato salad.  I included some hard-boiled eggs.  As you can see, it was almost devoured before I could even snap a picture!

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Michaela ate many, many peanut butter sandwiches with no jam, honey-nut Cheerios, and about 1/2 gallon of milk in 2 days, if not more.  She likes milk.  And, there’s a new rule that she cannot have soda until after she drinks a full bottle of water.  So, she drank water, and in fact, drink more than the forced amount a couple of times.  That’s great.  We are still on water restrictions, and so I bought a bunch of bottles of water. They say the water is safe for anyone my size, but I don’t want to take chances with my health, Rob’s health or the children’ health.  So, I don’t panic if I use some in cooking or drink a little, but try to use other water for the most part.

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Jake ate Cup-o-noodles, chicken flavor, aka instant lunch.  In fact, I just bought a new case of it last night, because he used them all up from my pantry.  We don’t go through many of those, except when he is here.  Frankly, we don’t care for them as much as he does, but I’m happy to get them for him if he wants them.  He drank a lot of apple juice, and ate as many frozen Otter Pops as he could con out of me or anyone else.  He also drank some water–very rare for him–declaring that he was not under 6 years of age and didn’t have any health problems.  He was being a silly little stinker at the time, smacking his lips and declaring how good the water was because one of the other kids had just told him to not drink it:), but at least he got some water down for once!

Rob and I ate out one night, as we wanted to have a date night, and we got to talk in peace:). We packed picnics the rest of the times we were out and about with a bunch of children, or just had them wait until they got home to eat. (I wasn’t very popular a couple of times, but I’m trying to establish healthier habits at the beginning of the summer that will hopefully last the entire 3 months!)  I want French fries to go back to being a treat and not an expectation.   So, there went some of the cheese slices, lunchmeat, bread, peanut butter,  fruit, various snacks and bars, and drinks, all for a good cause–children’s stomachs:)

Birthday week continues–2 down, 2 to go!  Today Ja’Ana wants pizza for her birthday dinner, so Rob will grab an inexpensive wheat-crusted one somewhere, and I will eat one of the gluten-free ones I made and froze last week.  Tomorrow, Rob is barbecuing for our little friend, Danait’s party, and so I’m making a large potato salad again today.   I will put green onions in it, again.  Good thing they are growing so well in the garden right now!  I will also pick lettuce today for salads and to take for the hamburgers tomorrow.

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I grabbed a few grocery items last night, such as the Instant Lunches, and a bag of potatoes. All this potato salad means I’m really going through potatoes right now. It’s great that they are very reasonable! I only had to pay $1.99 for 10 lbs. That’s a lot of good food for the price. I will look through my fridge today, but don’t anticipate buying very many other groceries for a few days, at least. Having lettuce in the garden really helps, and I was able to get a bag of 7 small avocados for $2.49 last night.  We love them in salads and guacamole.  Patsy and I just ran into Grocery Outlet on our way home from her first high school youth group barbecue (yikes–she’s getting so old!), and I was pleased with what I found.  You just never know what they are going to have.

Today, I need to get hot dog and hamburger buns for the party tomorrow, and a few tomatoes to slice, but have the rest of what I’m bringing.  My sister has been up with Harnet, gathering supplies for this party at least twice, and we have it well organized between the 3 of us.  It’s going to be very fun.  There’s nothing like cute little kids enjoying themselves to brighten a day!

 

 

What Did We Eat? May 25, 2018

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This week has been a week of “finishing up.”  Michaela finished up her school program and graduated last night.  Alissa and Ja’Ana finished up their schoolwork yesterday, as well.  I am almost finished correcting it, as I have worked all week on that project.  I finished up some mushrooms that were starting to “go” in omelets one day.

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And, there were a lot of food items that needed finishing up as well.  Because the girls needed to do independent work, with only a bit of help, I cleaned my food storage shelves in-between helping them.  I found that we had finished up a lot of things, and have much left in other sections.  I am still searching for white rice.  I thought there was a lot, but….  There are a couple of other places to look in the garage before I despair:)

I decided that I would not shop this weekend as I usually do, but, instead, finish up some of the odds and ends I found while cleaning.  Clearly, we are not short on food:). On Thursday, I had a bean-cooking day.  I found dried beans tucked away in many locations and wanted to use some.

I cooked a package of mixed beans.  1/2 of it I used with a ham bone that had been previously frozen at the holidays to make ham/bean soup.  The other 1/2 I cooked plain, and froze for another day.

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I soaked a huge amount of pinto beans, and threw in a few black beans that I wanted to finish up, added lots of various frozen peppers from 2015’s garden, a big onion that was starting to sprout, salt, and water, and put the Crock Pot on low all day.  Last night, I used my immersion blender to grind it up, and today, I’m going to freeze many, many little cartons of refried beans. There is another bowl, much larger than this one, as well.  We like the homemade kind so much better, but since I’ve been busy lately, we’ve had to resort to the canned ones, which are still good.

I also made a big pot of chili from the rest of the pinto beans.  I froze a few small containers of that for dinners for Rob and Patsy when I get home from work late, plus a few of the ham/bean soup.

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I made more popsicles.  I used some canned pears that I am targeting, along with the crumbled up frozen raspberry bits that always collect in the bottom of the ziplock bags.  I cut the pears into very small chunks, stirred in the berries, poured some of the liquid from the pears in and added a very little sugar, since the berries are super tart.

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I spooned it into the molds and froze the popsicles.  They were a big hit.  I’ve already made them again and anticipate doing it frequently.  You can see that I used some of the whole berries in the second batch, and they came out great as well.

We had salad a couple of times from our garden lettuce.

I am so happy to have the storage shelved wiped off and organized.  Now I know what categories I need to fill. I often fill things up in the spring, and shop very minimally during the summer.  With a shelf full of stored items, the freezers, my canned items, and the garden, we usually don’t need a lot on a weekly basis.  I have to put some money out up front, but it saves me a lot of time and money in the summer because I bought in bulk, and have the garden for produce, so I don’t have to spend time at the stores.

Rob and I slipped away and ate at Subway one night.  Big date:). But, I’ll take what I can get, and am happy for every moment I can spend with him.  I’m glad summer is coming because we will be able to work together with the kids.  We have lots of good ideas of things to do with them.